Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blog-post-catch-up, Part 1: Germany

Denise posted pictures and a brief thing or two about our trip to Rothenburg, Germany on her blog.  Since I don't have any pictures of my own, and since it'd be way too hard to squeeze the trip into a blog post of reasonable length, I'll skip retelling it myself.  The one thing I will add is that Rothenburg looks like a town straight out of a Christmas snow globe.  It was old and charming and I'm pretty sure Santa has a holiday home tucked away in it somewhere.

*5:30 AM - Woke up to pack/eat breakfast/make sure nothing got left behind
*6:35 AM - Left our split level apartments to walk 10 minutes to the train station 
*6:55 AM - Boarded Train #1 (out of 5) on the way back to the airport in Memmingen
*7:15 AM - Arrived at our 1st connection station, went from platform 5 to platform 2 to wait on Train #2
*7:20 AM - Train #2 delayed 15 minutes
*7:25 AM - Train #2 delayed another 5 minutes
*7:30 AM - Train #2 delayed a total of 35 minutes (Did I mention it was FREEZING?)
*7:50 AM - Finally boarded Train #2.  Sat in 1st class because there weren't any other seats.  No one seemed to mind.
*8:15 AM - Arrived at 2nd connection station.  Missed Train #3 by about 5 minutes.  Scott went off in search of a solution. 
*9:00 AM - Realized that getting 2 taxis was the only option that guaranteed we'd make it to the airport on-time.  Missing our flight would mean having to stay in Germany 2 extra nights, plus rebook tickets for Friday, plus miss Thanksgiving, plus miss the Marlay Craft Fair.
*11:00 AM - Made it to Memmingen 2 hours and 500 euro later.  Checked in.  Got some coffee.  Went through security and passport control.
*12:40 PM - Our flight was scheduled to leave at 1:10 PM, but was stuck in a holding pattern due to intense fog
*1:00 PM - Still in a holding pattern.
*1:30 PM - Flight was redirected to another airport.  We had to go back through passport control take an hour bus ride to get to the plane.
*2:30 PM - Arrived at airport #2.  Waited in line for ages to go back through security (ONE PERSON AT A TIME... seriously?!?!?!) and passport control... again (that's right, I have 3 Germany stamps in my passport now because I left the country twice on Wednesday)
*3:30 PM - Wait almost 10 minutes on the shuttle bus to ride 250 meters (see how European I am?) to our plane.  Apparently it was too dangerous to walk that far.
*4:00 PM - Finally departed Germany, 30 minutes later than we were scheduled to land in Dublin
*5:15 PM - Arrived in Dublin, after gaining back an hour in transit. 

It was a really long day.  There were a few moments of panic, frustration, and resignation, but I'm proud of how well we all held it together!  At least we made it home :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Knock, knock. Who's there?

Tesco delivered all these groceries right to my kitchen tonight!  I went shopping online, set up a time, and didn't have to carry a thing.  Very handy when you rely on teammates and other forms of public transport to get you to Ireland's Wal-mart.  Yes, there are 6 jars of peanut butter and 4 packages of fajita seasoning.  Can't pass up a sale on the good stuff.  Now, if they only had hot tamales and canned pumpkin.  Not together, of course.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's crunch time, baby!

The Marlay Craft Fair is just a couple weeks away!  Denise, Juli, and myself have gone craft-crazy trying to get ready for our booth... the Prickly Pear... don't laugh.  We leave for Germany next Friday and won't be back until Wednesday.  Then Thursday is Thanksgiving (insert mouth-watering, tummy-growling, spine-shivering excitement).  Then the fair starts Friday!  That means we only have five solid days of crafting left.  I'll be at school for two of those days.  Plus one day of mock-set-up/packing for Germany/miscellaneous non-crafting activity.  So forget the five days.  I've got two.  Two days.  Forty-eight hours.  Oh, I do love pressure!

I invited myself to Denise's house for an overnight Crunch-Time-Craft-Day.  We were very productive.  Scott had to stand on the table to accurately document all the productfullness.  I finished several mug rugs.  And I quilted/bound/washed two quilts... which was quite an accomplishment, considering I broke three needles and had countless machine-related issues.  No time to dwell on the problems.  Gotta keep trucking stitching.

Busy.  Busy.  Busy.  Humming machines.  Grunts of frustration.  It's always better when you have company.  Thanks for the "invitation", Denise.


A sampling of mug rugs.

What's a mug rug?  A little rug for your mug of tea (or coffee, or hot chocolate, or juice, or whatever) plus room for a biscuit (or cookie, or scone, or apple, or whatever).

Some pillows.

Some zippy pouches.

A quilt to finish.  Next thing on The-List.

What's left:
one more quilt to quilt/bind
a few pillows
lots of mug rugs, maybe 15 or so
cut all the loose strings off EVERYTHING
homework (yuck)

No more time to waste... it's crunch time, baby!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Things Hoped For

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  Heb 11:1

There are so many things that draw my heart away from my Creator.  Pride.  Complacency.  Anger.  Despair.  Insecurity.  Inadequacy.  Inferiority.  The list goes on.  But in the dead of night, when the quiet darkness is heavy with ambiguity, my soul cries out to Yahweh.  These are the things I hope for...

To be full of thankfulness.  To be consumed by His love.  To rejoice always.  To be genuinely content.  For every breath I take to honor His kingdom.  For every word I speak to echo His truth.  To love with abandon.  To fall before His throne.  To feel His arms engulf my raging heart.  To hide in His light, where the darkness cannot find me.  To find rest in His promises.  To find peace in His presence.  To find my place in His holiness.  To delight in Him completely.  To desire Him and no other. 

This is where He meets me.  In this place, my Creator calms the storm inside my heart.  He whispers His words into the depths of my soul.

I am Yahweh, the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  I do not faint or grow weary.  Wait for me.  I will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:28, 30).  I am in your midst.  I will save you.  I rejoice over you.  Be quieted by my love.  I exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17).  My steadfast love never ceases.  My mercies never come to an end.  They are new every morning.  I am faithful.  Let me be your portion.  Hope in me (Lamentation 3:24).  Seek me.  You will find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you (Jeremiah 29:13-14).  Now be still.  Know that I am God (Psalm 46:10) 

Then sings my soul. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Retrograde Jet-lag?

So I know I've been in Ireland five months (can you believe it's been that long?!?!), but jet-lag is still the best explanation I can come up with for my inability to fall asleep before 4am.  Last night made four nights in a row of counting sheep and twiddling my thumbs into the wee hours of the morning... apparently there aren't enough sheep in Ireland. 

Once I finally fell asleep, I dreamed that my sisters were here (they're coming January 19!!!!!).  We were walking around city center and it started to rain.  Amy and I had rain jackets on.  Jes didn't.  I asked her where her jacket was and she said she forgot to bring one.  Note to anyone coming to visit Dublin: you will need a rain jacket.  It should be the first thing on your "Things to Pack" list.  Jes, maybe you should go ahead and put your jacket in your suitcase... just to make sure you don't actually forget it.

November is going to be a crazy-busy month around here.  We're going to Rothenburg, Germany for the Euro-American Family Retreat.  Then it's back to Dublin for Thanksgiving and a weekend selling mugrugs and pillows at the Marlay Craft Fair.  In between all that, I'll be churning out quality assignments for IBI and getting ridiculously strong at Crossfit.  "Ridiculously strong" may be an overstatement... let's say "sufficiently whipped" instead.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another School-Assignment-Turned-Blog-Post

An SATBP?  Doesn't really roll off the tongue.  Maybe an REB... recycled-essay-blog?  I'll work on the official label.  In the meantime, here's a response I wrote for my essay on the "Holiness of God".  How great is our God!

I found it ironic that something so fundamental can remain so obscure and inexplicable.  On the surface, the concept of God’s holiness is actually quite simple: God is holy, and holiness is the standard God has set for himself, similar to when God tells Moses, “I AM who I AM.”  Short and simple.  The complication comes in the explanation: So what does that mean?  I struggled to turn my convoluted thoughts into intelligible sentences.  Even now, as I reflect on all I’ve learned, the right words continue to allude me.  My mind remains stuck on the words of Isaiah, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty!  The whole earth is full of his glory!”  My spirit is overwhelmed by the magnitude of my God.  In His perfect holiness, He would be completely justified to annihilate me on account of my sin.  But His perfect love demands an alternative.  So instead of destruction, He offers deliverance.  He invites me to join Him inside His holiness (1 Thess. 4:7).  Crudely put, He found the loophole.  Except the salvation He provides isn’t an afterthought.  It’s not a last-minute contingency plan to salvage what’s left of the Creation that failed Him.  It is, instead, a beautiful expression of His complete devotion to His Created, of His absolute refusal to stop pursuing the ones He desperately loves, of His persistent desire for relationship with his children—with me!  He is devoted to me; He is pursuing me; He desires me.  His love meets me in my depravity.  It obliterates my sin.  It brings me into His presence, “and where He is, is holy.”  His love sets me apart.  It is with great confidence that I can say, “I am holy as He is holy” (Lev. 20:26).